Telephone Boxes In Scotland

Finding Red Telephone Boxes in Scotland

Telephone Boxes (or Booths, as I call them).

I am a lover of things reminiscent of the past. Especially when it comes to telephones. When I was young, I dreamed of owning a Victorian style phone. Later in life, I perused thrift stores because I want to find an old rotary dial phone for Miss Sunshine’s playtime. I was never that lucky, but I did find push button corded ones.

I’m old enough to remember phone boxes (booths)… and old enough to have kept a stash of quarters in my car in case I needed to use the payphone. I rarely see a phone booth around anymore. Sure, there’s the one over by Target…with no phone book. I’m not even sure it has a phone. I just know that it’s surrounded in yellow caution tape with a sign saying that bees live there.

However, the phone booths around the United States that I’ve traveled about, are nothing like the spectacular beauties found in the United Kingdom.


The red telephone box was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, following a competition in 1924.

From 1926 and onward, the exterior of the telephone boxes had a crown, representing the British government.

Bubble blowing on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh Scotland


Of course with the advent of further technologies (aka…cell phones), the telephone boxes became less necessary.

Due to their popularity, some of these telephone boxes are being given a new life by entrepreneurs and communities.  You can see that evidence in the background of the photo above (taken on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh) where the telephone box says “Cash”.


You can imagine my excitement when my mother and I stumbled upon the telephone boxes actually housing telephones. I don’t have the location of this phone booth since the photo was taken by my mother. I suspect that it is in Glasgow as my aunt wasn’t out with us on this walk and my mother and I did some touring around Glasgow on our own.

If you’ve missed that walk around Glasgow, we walked to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and then made our way up to the University of Glasgow and into The Cloisters, which are located there.


There is an iconic sense to this telephone box. It is set amongst the crowds that walked along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

Its red color standing prominently in the sea of stone buildings.

According to this BBC article, there are 8,000 traditional red kiosks.



While I fell in love with the phone boxes from an aesthetic standpoint, I am also happy that I have witnessed a piece of history.

A history that is being steadily preserved.

To see more preservation, be sure to check out Norm’s Thursday Doors where you can see photos of doors captured from around the world.

And then there is the most dangerous risk of all - the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself freedom to do it later. - Randy Komisar quote

Let your light shine!


23 thoughts on “Telephone Boxes In Scotland

  1. I call them “booths”, too, but booths or boxes, I love these red beauties. Most phone booths in US these days, if still there, are vandalized and never have phone books. When I was growing up, we always checked the coin return box to see whether anyone had forgotten their change. Sometimes we found something. 🙂


    1. The only booths I’ve really seen here are typically covered in graffiti. I still have a phone book delivered to my home, but I wonder if people really use them anymore. I always put it straight into the recycling bin. Makes me wonder if there’s a way to let them know not to deliver it. I used to check the coin return box for change as well!

  2. The last 2 photos of the phone booth framed by the gray buildings reminds me of an episode of Dr Who 🙂

    They are a bit of an oddity to see now. Whenever I do, I find myself taking photos of it too … although none I’ve seen are as pretty as these.

    1. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never seen Dr. Who. I’ve heard about it enough that I should watch it though! They did have a Blue Police box in Glasgow, but there were many people taking photos of it and we needed to head off to dinner (and I didn’t know how rare they were). Next time!

  3. They do still come in handy every once in a while but as you say technology has made them obsolete. I like the last shot and the one of you looking back at the camera 🙂

  4. My Mum was just talking about when she was a kid she and her friends would go to the phone box at the end of the road to hang out on a Saturday, there was a number you could dial to listen to the charts! Haha!

    1. The red really does catch you eye. I don’t know if it worked because I don’t recall hearing a dial tone, but I haven’t used a payphone in years and wasn’t sure if there was a different process over there to have the phone work. B

  5. Phone booths have all but vanished in India too. They used to be dark blue, and now, only Doctor Who pops into my head when I think ‘phone booth’. ☺

    1. I have not watched Dr. Who. After my travels to Scotland, I feel sorely out of the loop and think that I may need to remedy that. I am aware of his travels in the blue “time machine”. I actually saw a blue police box in Glasgow, but did not have time to capture its photo.

      1. I’m not an avid follower of the series either, I’ve just watched episodes now and then. ☺ I guess a picture of the police box would be a good one to have if you did watch the series!

  6. When I’ve been in the UK I’ve sought out the Red Booths too! I have a photo of my son in one near Hyde Park, London, and one of me in the Paddington neighborhood. I also adore their iconic black cabs, Bobbies, and Double Decked red buses.

    I wish I liked the image of me in the red telephone booth as much as I like yours. 🙂

    1. We rode in one of those iconic black cabs in Glasgow. I wish I had taken some photos of them!

      I would have preferred a hair and makeup team for the photo, but I’ll take it 😉 Thanks Deborah!

  7. Hope they find a way to preserve these telephone boxes! I don’t lik cell phones that much, but it beats having to have the right amount of cash to make an emergency call! Great post, Amy! Whaaat?? You don’t need any make up – that’s when you are my age, lol!

    1. I was happy to find that they were working to preserve the remaining boxes. Cell phones are great in those emergency situations. I probably used it more as a map in my traveling than I did speaking on it. 🙂
      Thank you! 🙂 I don’t often wear makeup, mainly because I don’t like to take the time to do it.

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